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Communication in virtual reality as applied to medical education

Arts & Humanities Open Access Journal
Jonathan Fenn,1 Brendan Meany,2 Stepahnie Rescober,3 Karamveer Narang,4 Jagtar Dhanda1,5


Virtual Reality (VR) has materialized as a technology enabling users to experience computergenerated 3D environments.1 Medical education programs have recently incorporated VR into their curriculum as a supportive means of experiential learning modalities like laboratory exercises and simulation training.2 Applying Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory,3 the use of VR in medical education allows students to acquire knowledge and develop “soft skills” like collaboration, communication, and teamwork through interactive processes.2,4,5 Traditionally, medical training has occurred in siloed specialties instead of integrated practices that require coordination across disciplines to provide excellent patient care.6 While the efficacy and realism of VR have room for improvement, incorporating VR into experiential exercises can enhance non-technical skills such as interpersonal interactions, minimize medical error, democratize opportunities, and galvanizing diverse people and practitioners.6–9 This practical review briefly explains VR’s utility, its function as an experiential learning tool, and application in clinical exercises.


virtual reality, communication, medical education, experiential learning, clinical application